Angie Kerr, Portland Thorns player and University of Portland stand-out midfielder, has made a big impact on women’s soccer. She played a major role in the Pilots 2005 NCAA Championship win, scoring in the the second minute to give the Pilots an early 1-0 lead over UCLA and adding two assists in their 4-0 National Championship win. Kerr also played for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2005 and 2008, and the Sky Blue FC of the former WPS. Now, Kerr is back in Portland to play for the Thorns FC alongside former teammate Christine Sinclair.
She took a few minutes to chat with me about her love of the game and returning to the city of Portland.
Q: What was it like to play in your first professional game? A: Very surreal. It’s something that you dream about as a kid but never know if you will every actually have the opportunity to play at that level. So I was extremely excited and overwhelmed by the whole experience.
Q: Do you have a moment during your career that stands out?
A: I have different moments throughout my career that will always hold a special place in my heart… A couple of them are when I was 15 years old and I made the roster to the first ever U19 World Cup which took place in Canada. We ended up meeting Canada in the final where we played in front of 48,000 fans. That was truly an amazing experience. Another big moment for me was winning the National Championship in 2005. I feel so lucky to have been a part of that amazing team and it was so awesome to be able to contribute to our win that year by scoring the first goal and getting two assists. Lastly, I will always remember my first cap with the Women’s Full National Team. I was 18 years old and got to play against Iceland… that’s such a big moment for any player and one I’ll never forget.
Q: I know you have settled down in Portland, so it must mean a lot to get to play here. What are some of your favorite things about Portland as a city?
A: Getting to play in Portland again is a dream come true! This is such an amazing soccer city and I feel so at home here. Things that I love about Portland are all the restaurants, cafe’s, coffee shops and breweries. There are so many unique spots that it’s impossible to experience all of them. I love going to a new place and experiencing it’s unique vibe and food.
Q: If you weren’t playing soccer, what would be your dream job?
A: Ironically, in the year and a half break I had from the WPS to the start of the new NWSL I have started a performance training class that I offer U12-U18 soccer players. I introduce them to speed, agility and strength… I hold my classes out of a Physical Therapy clinic in Lake Oswego. So it’s awesome incorporating things that I learn from the other professionals I have around me and I absolutely love working with kids and teaching them important tools off the soccer field to help enhance their overall strength and ability on the field. It’s a dream job for me… and I guess I am already getting to do both.
Q: What have you learned from playing soccer that you carry with you in your every day life?
A: I think learning how to be persistent has a been an extremely valuable tool that I learned playing soccer. No matter what I am doing in life I will always come across obstacles and moments that are challenging. Having the confidence in my own personal ability and the persistence to not give up on what I am trying to accomplish has been so important for me, and something that I apply to everything I do in life.
Q: When you were a student at UP, what did you enjoy the most?
A: There are so many things that I enjoyed about UP…. I love that it’s a small school and you know just about everyone. You feel very connected and a part of the school. I built such great relationships with most of my teachers which was very valuable to me as a person and student. Also, I absolutely loved the amazing support that UP has for women’s soccer. There is no other place like it and I will always cherish the memories I have playing on Merlo Field.